x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

European football round-up: Ronaldo’s last-gasp strike caps amazing Real Madrid comeback at Levante

Spanish giants go from a goal down, with four minutes left, to a dramatic victory, while Sunday's big match sees bitter rivals Marseille and PSG face off.

Cristiano Ronaldo, left, scored Real Madrid's winner in the last minute of injury time after the Spanish giants game from behind to beat Levante 3-2. Biel Alino / EPA
Cristiano Ronaldo, left, scored Real Madrid's winner in the last minute of injury time after the Spanish giants game from behind to beat Levante 3-2. Biel Alino / EPA

Cristiano Ronaldo scored deep in injury time to cap Real Madrid’s incredible 3-2 comeback win at Levante on Saturday, keeping his team in touch with the top of the Spanish league.

With the game poised at 1-1, Levante’s Nabil El Zhar grabbed what looked to be the winner in the 86th minute, but Madrid substitute Alvaro Morata levelled in the 90th.

Still facing what would have been a costly draw, Ronaldo’s last-gasp strike hit both a defender and the post before settling into the net to crush the hosts’ hopes of taking a point.

The victory put Madrid back in third place, now five points behind victorious Barcelona and two behind Atletico Madrid before they play this round.

Levante striker Babacar “Baba” Diawara had opened the scoring in the 57th, Sergio Ramos equalised four minutes later.

Earlier, Real Sociedad lost their second game this week in agonising fashion, when the Rayo Vallecano substitute Jonathan Viera earned and converted an 89th-minute penalty in the Spanish league.

Sociedad had already lost at Bayer Leverkusen to an injury-time free kick in the Champions League on Tuesday.

The Basque side have gone winless in their last nine games in all competitions.

Also, Elche forward Ferran “Coro” Corominas scored two goals in a 2-1 win over Espanyol at home, earning the promoted side their second straight victory.

Germany

Borussia Monchengladbach ended Borussia Dortmund’s season-long unbeaten record and extended their 100 per cent home record with a 2-0 victory on Saturday.

After weathering an 80-minute storm, the Foals struck with a Max Kruse penalty, after Mats Hummels was sent off, and Raffael sealed an unexpected win.

The hosts had goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen to thank for keeping them in the game up to that point while Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp will be keen to work on his side’s shooting ability after they failed to convert numerous chances.

The only consolation for Klopp was rivals Bayern Munich’s failure to fully take advantage as Bayer Leverkusen held firm in the face of a dominant display to claim a point.

Toni Kroos put Bayern ahead after half an hour, but Sidney Sam’s swift reply earned Sami Hyypia’s men a 1-1 draw in a one-sided encounter which the visitors will feel they should have won.

Bayern missed chance after chance but were unable to find a winner, although the point was still enough to take them top on their own.

Schalke defeated 10-man Augsburg 4-1 thanks to Kevin-Prince Boateng’s 16th-minute penalty and two scores from Adám Szalai. Stuttgart, sitting just outside Europa qualification at seventh in the table, were held to a 1-1 draw by Bremen at home.

France

Monaco may have emerged as Paris Saint-Germain’s main rivals in the Ligue 1 title race this season, but the biggest game for the reigning champions is still against their bitter old foes Marseille.

The clubs meet at the Stade Velodrome on Sunday in the fixture that the French have come to call the “Classique”. The title-holders from the capital will be guaranteed their usual warm welcome in the Mediterranean port city, home to arguably the most passionate fans anywhere in France.

PSG trail Ligue 1 leaders Monaco by three points after Claudio Ranieri’s side beat Saint-Etienne 2-1 on Saturday, while Marseille are a point further back in third.

OM have lost just one of their last nine home meetings with the club from the capital, with that 4-2 reverse coming in October 2008.

However, Marseille’s recent record has been patchy, with just two wins from seven games, and they come into the clash off the back of a 3-0 defeat to Borussia Dortmund in the Uefa Champions League.

Coach Elie Baup said: “We need to put the Champions League to one side and start focusing on our domestic league once again.”

PSG are unbeaten in 11 matches in all competitions this season and have not lost in 19 games in Ligue 1 since a 1-0 loss at Reims on March 2. It is their longest unbeaten run since 1993/94.